7.8/10
5,216
70 user 46 critic

This Sporting Life (1963)

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2:23 | Trailer
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.

Director:

Lindsay Anderson

Writers:

David Storey (based on the novel by), David Storey (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Harris ... Frank Machin
Rachel Roberts ... Mrs. Hammond
Alan Badel ... Weaver
William Hartnell ... Johnson
Colin Blakely ... Maurice Braithwaite
Vanda Godsell ... Mrs. Weaver
Anne Cunningham Anne Cunningham ... Judith
Jack Watson ... Len Miller
Arthur Lowe ... Slomer
Harry Markham Harry Markham ... Wade
George Sewell ... Jeff
Leonard Rossiter ... Phillips
Katherine Parr Katherine Parr ... Mrs. Farrer (as Katharine Parr)
Bernadette Benson Bernadette Benson ... Lynda
Andrew Nolan Andrew Nolan ... Ian
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Storyline

In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges with Mrs Hammond, whose husband was killed in an accident at Weaver's, but his impulsive and angry nature stop him from being able to reach her as he would like. He becomes increasingly frustrated with his situation, and this is not helped by the more straightforward enticements of Mrs Weaver. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1963 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Lockender Lorbeer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First cinema film of George Sewell. See more »

Goofs

The sash window in Mrs Hammond's living room, as seen from the inside (presumably a studio set), has been fitted back-to-front and upside-down. The curved "horns" (moulded wood) are at the top of the lower, inside (sliding) pane, when they should be at the bottom of the upper, outside (fixed) pane. See more »

Quotes

Frank Machin: [to scantily clad nightclub singer] Eh love, show us your personality!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Carry on Forever: Episode #1.1 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking Back to Happiness
(uncredited)
Written by John Schroeder and Mike Hawker
Performed by Kim Leslie
Backed by Tommy Fisher and the Mis-Fits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bleak and truthful portrait of Yorkshire in the early sixties
14 June 2000 | by whisperingtreeSee all my reviews

Richard Harris and Lindsay Anderson spent sometime in the West Yorkshire coalfield prior to the filming of This Sporting Life. To call the film gritty and realistic is a truism measured up by the nature of the stark narrative. Harris is profoundly convincing as the miner turned Rugby League player who pursues the arctic charms of his widowed landlady played with sublime restraint by the late Rachel Roberts. For those of us familiar with the Northern man, Wakefield and with Rugby league the stories verisimilitude is almost painful. Watch particularly Harris's trial match (during which the actor broke his leg), his 'singing debut' in the nightclub and the interlude at Kirkstall Abbey. Note too the participation of Wakefield Trinity stars Ken Rollin and Neil Fox, men who were local legends in the 1960's.


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